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This page contains an edited extract from the following book.  You are advised to read the original publication if you are seriously researching the content.

ANGUS or FORFARSHIRE PART XIV.- VOLUME (?), by A. J. WARDEN, F.S.A.

PAGES 146 - 155- ANGUS IN PARISHES - DUNDEE (part)

CHAPTER - XXXIII - DUNDEE


 . . . belongs to George Keil of Whitfield, was previously part of Drumgeith. The lands of Kellyfield were also given off Drumgeith. They were owned by the Lorimers for a century before 1875, when James Lorimer, professor of law, sold it to John Laing, merchant, Dundee, who lately built a new mansion house and made other improvements on the estate. Montpelier was also sold off Drumgeith. John Alison, merchant, Dundee, was proprietor in 1822 and afterwards. It subsequently passed through several hands, and it now belongs to William Hay, Town Clerk of Dundee, who has done much to improve the estate, and both Kellyfield and Montpelier are good and pretty residences. The estate of Drumgeith belonged to Patrick Kerr in 1822. It was subsequently acquired by the late Edward Baxter of Kincaldrum. His trustees sold the property to C. D. H. Kirkcaldy, and his trustees sold it to Robert McGavin of Ballumbie, the present proprietor.

In the Valuation Roll of 1683 Duntrune included the property now known as Craighill, the valuation of both being 466-13s-4d. In the valuation of 1822 the lands are divided. Craighall then belonged to David Blair, a Magistrate of, and stampmaster in, Dundee, the value of it being 93-19s-1d.  Duntrune then belonged in part to Miss A. Graham, of the value of 70-1s-9d; and the balance to William Stirling - value, 302-12s-5d; in all, 466-13s-4d as above. On the death of David Blair who was locally known in Dundee as Justice Blair, David Blair, his son, succeeded to the property. He sold the property of Craighill, left Dundee, and took up his residence in St. Andrews. He married a daughter of Provost Bell of Belmont, Dundee, by whom he has a family.

John Hepburn Millar, merchant in Glasgow, had a son John, born in 1816. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, was LL.D., 1838, and called to the Bar, 1842. He married in 1863, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the late Charles, Lord Neaves, he was Solicitor-General for Scotland 1867-8, and appointed a Senator of the College of Justice 1874, when he took the title of Lord Craighill, from the name of his estate in this parish.

The lands of Craighill are to the north of Duntrune Hill and left bank of the Fithie, a small stream which rises in Craigowl and falls into the Dighty at Balunie. They are protected from the north winds by a hill or ridge behind them, and the farmhouse commands an extensive view.

Sir Robert Graham of Fintry married Janet, daughter and heiress of Sir Richard Lovell of Ballumbie, had issue - Robert, his heir; John, ancestor of the Grahams of Claverhouse and Duntrune. He acquired the estate of Balargus from the Earl of Angus, and afterwards Kirkton. By Margaret, daughter of John Bethune of Balfour, he had John Graham of Claverhouse, living in 1541, who married Ann, daughter of Robert Lundin of Balgony. He died about 1580, and was succeeded by his elder son, Sir William Graham of Claverhouse, who died in 1642, leaving by Marian, his wife, daughter of Thomas Fotheringham of Powrie, two sons, George of Claverhouse, and -
I. Walter, ancestor of the Grahams of Duntrune. He married, in 1630, Elizabeth, sister of Alexander Guthrie, and was father of -
II. David Graham of Duntrune, who died in 1706, leaving a son, -
III. William Graham of Duntrune, who assumed at the decease of David, third Viscount Dundee, the title of Viscount, as heir male of Claverhouse. He was out in '15, and attainted by Act of Parliament. His eldest son, -
IV. James Graham of Duntrune, likewise assumed the title, joined in the rising of '45, and was also attainted for treason. He had previously, in 1735, sold Duntrune to his uncle, -
V. Alexander Graham. He settled the estate upon his brother, -
VI. David Graham, who then became of Duntrune. He was born in 1687, and died in 1776, having married Grisel, daughter of Robert Gardyne of Lawton, by whom he left a son, -
VII. Alexander Graham of Duntrune, who married Clementina, daughter of David Gardyne of Lawton or Middleton, and had by her one son and several daughters. He died in 1782.
VIII. Alexander Graham of Duntrune. He died in 1802 without issue, and his sisters became co-heirs. Of these, -
IX. Amelia, the eldest daughter, became the wife of Patrick Stirling of Pittendreich, on 18th April, 1781; and Clementina, who in 1794 was married to Captain Gavin Drummond of Keltie. Their only child, Clementina, was married to David, ninth Earl of Airlie, in 1812. She was the mother of David, the tenth Earl of Airlie.

Patrick Stirling, who was son of William Stirling of Pittendreich, had by his wife, Amelia Graham, William, their heir; Alexander, born in July, 179 6, who died in 1801; Clementina Jean, who, in 1807, was married to Captain John Mortlock Lacon, 72nd Highlanders, of Great Yarmouth, second son of the late Sir Edmond Lacon, Bart., and had issue - John Edmund; Henry, died in the West Indies, and several other sons and daughters.

On inheriting Duntrune, Mrs. Stirling Graham and her husband assumed the surname and arms of Graham by Royal authority. Their only surviving son, -
X. William Stirling Graham, born 12th June, 1794, succeeded to Duntrune. He died without issue in December, 1844, aged 50 years, and was succeeded by his eldest sister, -
Xl. Miss Clementina Stirling Graham. She was well known as the authoress of "Mystifications."  She was born in the Seagate of Dundee on 4th May, 1782, and died at Duntrune, 23rd August, 1877, aged 95 years. She was succeeded by her above mentioned nephew, -
XII. John Edmund Lacon, the present proprietor.

In 1844 he married Louisa Matilda, daughter of Edward Shewell of Bryanstone Square, London, and of Lewis, Sussex, by whom he had a son, Frederick Graham Lacon, who died at Madeira in 1875.

Miss Stirling Graham was buried in the old burial ground of the Grahams of Fintry, at Mains, close by the Castle of Mains, near Dundee. In memory of his aunt Mr. Lacon has had placed in the Episcopal Church, Broughty Ferry, a beautiful stained glass window. The laird of Duntrune is a Justice of Peace for the County of Forfar, and he takes an active and intelligent interest in the affairs of the county.

The bearings of Walter Graham of Duntrune, the eldest cadet of the Graham of Claverhouse, are -
Arms - Three piles waved, sable, on a chief engrailed, of the second as many escalops as the first, a double tressure counter-flowered, gules.
Crest - On a helmet befitting his degree, with a mantle gules, doubled argent, and torse of his colours is set for his crest, a flame of fire issuing out of the torse or wreath proper.
Motto
- in an escroll, 'Recta sursum'.
   Lyon Office, 26th November, 1823.

The proprietary histories of Duntrune, Balunie, Baldovie, and others in proximity to them were, to a considerable extent, intermixed in early times, which makes it difficult to make the proprietary history intelligible without occasional repetitions.

The lands of Duntrune and Balunie had been Crown property in the reign of King Robert Bruce. That Monarch granted a charter of Duntrune and Balluny to Walter Northington. (In. to Ch., 81-7l.)  Of this proprietor we know only his name, and cannot tell the motives which induced the King to bestow these lands upon him, but doubtless he had been an active partisan of the King, and probably accompanied him from England. We do not know how long the lands remained in that family. They may have passed from them to the Ogilvies of Easter Powrie, as we find them in possession of a member of that family at an early date. Alexander Ogilvy was proprietor of Duntrune in the beginning of the fifteenth century. His mother was Christian Glen, the daughter of Sir John Glen and Margaret Erskine, and his father, David Ogilvy.  Alexander Ogilvy of Duntrune had a charter under the Great Seal on 10th May 1439-40, of one sixth of Inchmartine, and lands in Lanarkshire on the resignation of his mother. (Bal. MSS.) David Ogilvy of Duntrune was a witness in 1497. (Registrum de Panmure, 262)  We have not ascertained when the Ogilvies disposed of Duntrune, but it was not for a considerable time after the end of the fifteenth century.

The Scrymgeours, (being the) Constables of Dundee and Viscounts of Dudhope, acquired the lands of Duntrune, Balunie, Baldovie, and others, very probably from the Ogilvys of Easter Powrie and Ogilvy. They retained the superiority of these properties for some time after they parted with the lands themselves.

Walter Graham, son of John Graham, second son of Sir Robert Graham of Fintry, acquired the estate of Duntrune early in the seventeenth century. On 10th November 1629, Walter Graham of Duntrune is mentioned (His. of C. of S., p.131), and the lands of Duntrune have continued in the family since they were acquired by the said Walter. In 1735 the estate was sold by one member of the family to another of them, in view of a rising on behalf of the Stuarts, in which the seller intended to take part. It was a wise precaution, as James Graham, the rebel laird, was attainted for taking part in the rebellion, but the lands having been previously conveyed to Alexander Graham, who took no part in the rising, they were saved to the family. The estate of Duntrune now belongs to John Edmund Lacon of Duntrune, descended, on the female side, from the Grahams of Duntrune, as is shown by the short genealogical account given above. The superiority of the lands of Duntrune, which had been acquired by the Town of Dundee, was on 29th October 1766, sold to Alexander Graham, merchant, Arbroath, for the sum of 770 sterling.

The old mansion house of Duntrune was built in the sixteenth century, but we have not ascertained the year in which it was erected. The lands were then the property of the Scrymgeours of Dudhope, as they were not acquired by the Grahams until about the middle of the seventeenth century.

In 1825 William Stirling Graham had the old house of Duntrune taken down, and the present elegant mansion built on the site of its predecessor. It . . .

(added May 2004)

. . . consists of two floors, besides a sunk storey on the north side, where the ground falls rapidly. The principal rooms are on the first floor, and the windows open upon the lawn, which fronts the house on the south. Between the lofty windows are pilasters the height of the walls, surmounted by small pinnacles, which gives the front a handsome appearance. The door, with portico, faces the east, and the appearance of the mansion, whether seen from south, east, or west, is very pleasing.

The situation of Duntrune House is one of the finest anywhere to be found. On the north is a small hill covered with timber, which shelters it from the cold northern winds; to the west is a fine garden, beyond which is a deep den, the lofty sides richly clothed with a profusion of thriving trees and shrubbery, and shade and moisture-loving herbaceous perennial plants, through which runs the Fithie, a small clear and sparkling stream. The east side of this pretty ravine belongs to the Laird of Duntrune, and the west side to the
Laird of Ballumbie, whose mansion is near the lower end of the den, and on the right bank of the stream. The lawn extends a little to the east of the mansion, beyond which there is a plantation of noble trees, some of which are of great size.

The lawn is beautifully kept, and looks and feels like a velvety verdant carpet, agreeable to the eye and pleasant to the feet. Outwith the lawn is a spacious terrace, extending in length to quite half a mile, raised some seven or eight feet above the spacious park in front of it. From this terrace there is a magnificent prospect to the east, south, and west, of the ocean (German Ocean, now the North Sea), the Tay, the eastern and northern portions of Fife, of Dundee, and westward to the Ochils, with much of the intermediate scenery in each direction. Mr. Lacon is proud of his terrace, and well he may be, as there are few to equal it, and, all things considered, perhaps none in the country to surpass it.

In the mansion house of Duntrune there is a remarkably handsome large folio volume, bound in rich silk velvet of a reddish purple colour, in which Mr. Lacon has arranged in chronological order many interesting documents connected with the Duntrune property, and several documents which belonged to John, first Viscount of Dundee. The volume is kept in a neatly ornamented hardwood case. Among the documents are the following:-
Commission in favour of John Graham of Claverhouse to be Colonel of H.M. newly formed regiment of Horse in Scotland. It is dated Whitehall, 25th December, 1684, and signed by Charles II.
Contract of marriage between John Graham of Claverhouse and Lady Jean Cochrane, daughter of William, Lord Cochrane, eldest son of the first Earl of Dundonald, dated 9th June, 1684.
Letter on H.M. special service to Colonel Graham of Claverhouse, that the King had appointed him a Brigadier both of Horse and Foot, 23d May, 1686.
Commission to be Major-General, in favour of Colonel John Graham of Claverhouse, of all the Forces on East Coast of Scotland. 20th September, 1686.
Patent of nobility in favour of Major-General John Graham of Claverhouse, creating him Viscount of Dundee, and Lord Graham of Claverhouse. It is dated at Whitehall, 12th November, 1688, bears the signature of King James II. of England and VII of Scotland, and sealed at Edinburgh, 19th November, 1688.
Document signed by King James VII, 23d June, 1688. Entitled the Mustar (Muster) Roll, 30th June, 1688.
Rental of the late Viscount Dundie's estate, given by David Graham of Duntrune, for 1689  -  Total, 7,739-18s-4d Scots, or 649-19s-10d sterling; Lady Dundee's jointure, 3,333-6s-8d Scots, or 277-15s-6d sterling.
In the volume there are inventories of the titles of Lord Dundee's lands, delivered by the Laird of Duntrune to the tutors of the Marquis of Douglas. Each property is detailed by itself, with numbers showing the progress of the deeds.
There is a document entitled Confiscation of Claypots and Gotterston.
In a glass case which stands on the sideboard in the dining-room at Duntrune, is kept a pistol taken from Viscount Dundee's belt at (the Battle of) Killiecrankie, 17th June,1689.
Extract letter from His Majesty, King James VII. of Scotland (II. of England) to the Constable of Dundee, declaring the Constable to be the first Magistrate of Dundee, dated 19th March, 1685-6, and registered at Dundee, 22d June,1686.  Major-General John Graham of Claverhouse appears to have previously received from King Charles II. a grant of the office of Constabulary of Dundee, with Dudhope Castle and part of the Dudhope estates.
Gift of four pennies on the pint of ale brewed within the town of Dundee, to the Constable of Dundee, by King James VII., 1687.  This would have proved a very valuable gift had Lord Dundee been spared to enjoy it. On 11th March, 1689, he granted to the town a discharge for one thousand merks, being the collection of the gift of two merks upon each boll of malt brewed and sold within the town of Dundee. The money had been paid by the collector of the tax, John Graham, to Alexander Cathcart, for behoof of his Lordship and the discharge is to the term of Martinmas, 1688.  He did not live to draw another payment from the tax.

We sincerely thank Mr. Lacon for an inspection of the various very interesting articles enumerated above, and for the details given respecting them. We were also permitted for a few hours one day to take notes from the Inventories of Charters referred to above, from which some of the details we give of the proprietary history of the Graham lands were taken.  In expectation of being permitted to continue the perusal of the Index, which would have enabled us to make up a complete proprietary account of the lands in this parish, we delayed giving the chapter on the parish of Dundee in its alphabetical order among the parishes in Volume III.  We regret this now, as our waiting has been to no purpose, Mr Lacon having declined to permit us to take any more notes from the Inventory. This is of consequence to him, as it prevents us from showing the important, noble, and honourable position which the family of Graham at one time held in this county.

In the course of the preparation of this work we have had occasion to ask for information regarding the family history of many of the families, noble and gentle within it and also particulars regarding the proprietary history of their lands, and other details.  In every case, with this exception, we have been received in the most courteous manner, had charters and other writs given us for perusal, or particulars fully supplied by the parties or their agents.  It is necessary to mention this as our apology for excluding Dundee from its proper place, and inserting it later on without the additional details.  We regret the necessity.

King Robert II. (1370-90) granted to Thomas de Fothringhay a charter of the lands of Balewny (Balunie).  He had probably been a member of the family of Powrie Wester.  (In. to Ch., 122-109.)  On 26th March, 1437, Thomas Fothringham of Balunie is a witness (Registrum de Panmure, 229 ).  On that day he and others visited the Earl of Athole in prison in Edinburgh regarding the succession of Sir Thomas Maule to the Lordship of Brechin (Reg. de Pan., 23).

The Grahams appear to have acquired the lands of Balunie from the Fothringhams shortly after the date of the visit to Edinburgh in 1437.  On 13th October, 1480, instrument of resignation of Balunie and mill, and two third parts of the lands of Wariston by Robert Graham, of Fintray to Sir J. Scrymgeour of Dudhope, in favour of John Graham of Balunie. Sasine by Sir J. Scrymgeour in favour of John Graham of these properties followed on 19th April, 1521.  Instrument of resignation of Balunie and mill, and two parts of Wariston, by John Graham of Claverhouse, in the hands of Sir John Scrymgeour of Dudhope, for new infeftment, 28th January, 1539.  On 5th January, 1578, Sir J. Scrymgeour of Dudhope gave charter of the lands of Balunie with the mill, and lands of Wariston, to William Graham, son of David Graham of Fintry, upon an assignation by said David Graham in the Constable's hands.  On 10th November, 1598, William Graham of Balunie is mentioned.

In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and part of the eighteenth century, the lands of Wariston are frequently mentioned, generally in connection with Balunie, Claypots, or Gotterston. There are no lands of that name in the district now (Claypotts and Gotterstone adjoin Arbroath Road, Dundee), but we are informed by old people that there was last century a few cottar houses on each side of the highway between Dundee and Arbroath, close by where the present road to Balunie leaves it, which were known by a name similar to Waristen, and it is probable that the lands of Wariston lay around the town, and are now included in the farms of Balunie, Claypots, and Gotterston.

In the seventeenth century the lands of Balunie were in possession of the Scrymgeours, Viscounts of Dudhope.  On 4th November, 1614, John, Viscount of Dudhope, was served heir to his father, Viscount James, in the lands of Balunie, but, we think, of the superiority only.

The lands and mill of Balunie, with Gotterston, Claypots, and others in the parish, came into possession of John Graham, Viscount Dundee, partly by inheritance, and partly in gift from James VII.  After his death his estates were forfeited, and given by William III. to the Marquis of Douglas, from whom they have descended by steps to the Earl of Home, the present proprietor.

John of Inverpeffer is the first proprietor of the lands of Gotterston with whom we have met.  He resigned Godfraistoune, Drumgethe, and King's Lour to David II., and that monarch granted a charter of these three estates to Andrew Burr.  Of this person we have no information beyond his acquisition of these lands.  He does not appear to have held them long, as the same King granted a charter to Donald Strathechin,  and -Annabell, his wife, of the lands of Kingslour, Langleyis, Godfraistoune, which Andrew Burr resigned in the King's hands at Barbrothe, 16th April, 1343 years; the lands of Cardenbarclay, an annual furth of the mill of Panmure, and other lands in Aberdeenshire, which the King also gave him.  This Donald Strachan is supposed to have been a son of Sir James Strachan and Agneta de Thornton.  By Annabell, his wife, he had a daughter, Christian, married to Sir Malcolm Fleming of Biggar, ancestor of the noble house of Wigton (In. to Ch., 48-33A.)

On 16th April, 1524, Patrick, fourth Lord Gray, Sheriff of Angus, had a charter of Balgillo, Broughty, Gotterston, Pitkerro, Kingslaw, with the customs of Dundee. He died 1541.

On 28th April, 1542, Patrick, fifth Lord Gray, Sheriff, nephew of the fourth Lord, had charter of Broughty, Gotterston, Pitkerro, Kingslaw, third part of the barony of Dundee, annual customs of Dundee, erecting the lands into a free barony on the resignation of Andrew Straton of Lauriston, one of the two heirs and successors of Patrick, fourth Lord Gray (Doug. I., 669-70.).

On 15th June, 1595, charter of alienation of Gotterston by Patrick, Lord Gray, and Patrick, the Master of Gray, to William Gray of Balunie in principal, and an annual of fifty bolls victual out of the lands of Hilton and Milton of Craigie, and furth of the lands of Balgillo.  Gotterston appears to have passed from the Grays to the Grahams.

Sir William Graham of Claverhouse obtained a charter under the Great Seal, of Gotterston, Claypots,&c., on 8th June, 1625.  He had probably purchased the lands of Claypots from the Strachans in the early years of the century, although the Crown charter was not obtained for some years thereafter.  On 18th June, 1678, John Graham, of Claverhouse, heir male of Sir William, his great-grandfather, was retoured (No. 475) in the lands of Gotterston, pendicle at Northferry, with fishings, and other lands.

After the death of John Graham, Viscount Dundee, at (the Battle of) Killiecrankie, on 17th June (27 July), 1689, his estates were forfeited.  They consisted of Claverhouse, Claypots, Gotterston, the Glen of Ogilvy, and other lands which he had inherited from his great-grandfather, those he had purchased, and those he obtained from King James VII. along with the Constabulary of Dundee.

On 29th March, 1694, King William III. bestowed the greater part of these lands upon the Marquis of Douglas, and many of them are still included among the Douglas estates in the county.  In this parish there are Balunie and Douglas Bleachfield, the lands of Claypots, Gotterston, and Milton of Craigie, and -many plots of ground which have been feued, the annual feu-duty on which is about 1000.

The ancient family of Lovell of Ballumbie appear to have possessed some lands in West Ferry and salmon fishing. The family declined in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The lands subsequently passed through various hands, among whom were the Maules of Panmure.

The last of the Lovells, as proprietors of land in the district, of whom we have any account, are two ladies, which may be considered as showing that the family failed in females.  On 18th July, 1607, Sybil and Mary Lovell, heirs-portioners of James Lovell, their brother, were retoured (Nos. 56 and 57) in the lands of West Ferry, with the salmon fishings of Ferryduris, called the Uast Cruik of Kilcragie (winding of Tay east of Kilcraig), on the north side of the water of Tay.  In the Valuation Roll of 1683 there is a property entered as Ballumbie.  In the 1822 Roll it is called West Ferry, Hon. William Maule, proprietor, the valued rent of both being 100.

It is probable that the purchasers of Ballumbie had acquired these lands and fishings; that they had come to the Maules with the estate, been retained by the family, and that they are the lands at the West Ferry doors and the narrow wedge-like stripe to the north of these, which belong to, and have been feued by the Earl of Dalhousie, and that the "Uast Cruik of Kilcragie salmon fishings" are the fishings at the West Ferry which still belong to the Earl of Dalhousie.  The stripe runs into the Douglas lands.

The earliest notice of Pitkerro which we have seen is in Robertson's Index to Charters (26-19), and Douglas (I., p.664), being a grant by King Robert I. to Andrew Gray, ancestor of the Lords Gray, of the barony of Longforgan, third part of the Milton of Craigie, third part of Pettarache (Pitkerro), and the mill of Pitkerro, the charter dated at Arbroath 12th February, 1314-15.  The next is a charter by King David II. (In. to Ch., 50-16) of the lands of Pitkery, given by Margaret Mowbray to William Wishart.  Another charter was given by the same King (Douglas I., p.135) of a third part of the Crown revenues out of the burgh of Dundee, and a third part of Pitkerro, to Sir Neil Campbell, and Mary, his spouse, sister to the King, which pertained to John Campbell, Earl of Athole - circa 1330-50.  The King granted another charter (In. to Ch., 62-29), dated at Stirling, 23d March, 1359-60, of a third part of the customs of Dundee, and a third part of Pitkerro blench, which some time belonged to John Campbell, Earl of Athole, to Robert, Lord Erskine.  Crawford (p.299) says King Robert II. (who succeeded King David II., 22nd February 1370-1) gave Sir Robert Erskine a third part of the customs . . .

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